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Scottish traditional act, Breabach after going through some personnel changes last year have in, Bann that in Gaelic means band or bind an album that combines a number of different angles. For not only do we have a collection of jigs, reels and Strathspeys but tunes gathered from Norway by way of the lively dance tune ‘Mogaisean’ and Canada too. These come via Calum MacCrimmon who, in 1991 moved from Western Canada to Monifieth, Eastern Scotland. There are also fine covers of material from genial Scots fiddler and composer Duncan Chisholm (‘Farley Bridge’) and respected Scottish vocalist, instrumentalist Karine Polwart (‘Rivers Run’) that has Henderson show up well. Staying with MacCrimmon who, plays bagpipe, whistles, bouzouki, Jews harp adding to the others double bass, ebow, guitar, percussion and cajon also donates the particularly fine ‘Western Skies’ (a mix of the Rankin Family, Tim O’Brien put to a melody housing strains of Donal Lunny).
Consisting of Megan Henderson, James Lindsay, MacCrimmon, James Duncan Mackenzie and Ewan Robertson the standard of work and taste in what and what not to record in first class. Staying clear from the frenetic uptempo pieces where wild energetic thrust is thought to be the business, but be more artful and selective with their music. This isn’t to say the unit doesn’t have innovative flair because they do. Something that is wonderfully demonstrated than via ‘Scotland’s Winter’ that started life as a poem by Edwin Muir, ‘Scotland 1941’ and now has been re-structured and given a melody by Ewan Macpherson. A wonderful piece and equalled by swirling exciting tune ‘Sorry I’m Late’. For those of you into a spot of soothing Gaelic singing then you are in for a treat when you hear the flute aided praise song ‘M’Eudail, M’Eudail’. For me Breabach epitomise the best possible taste in Scottish traditional music performed by people with a passion and love for what they do.
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